ARCpoint Labs Reveals New Information About K2 Products

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There are many misconceptions surrounding K2 products, a drug that mocks the high of marijuana. ARCpoint Labs wants the public to know that regardless of legality, the drug can now be traced in drug tests.

ARCpoint Labs, a testing facility in Irving, TX offers new information regarding K2 products, a drug that originates from a spice concoction. K2 has been known for some time as a legal form of marijuana. The main drawback for most people looking to get high is the risk of using illegal substances, that is, until K2 came along.

The question that has now surfaced is about the legality of these mixtures. In Germany the Federal Ministry of Health has passed regulations deeming this group of chemically modified pre-packaged herbs illegal under their Narcotics Law. This has been based on the assumptions that the substance may be addictive, may impair ones' cognitive ability, and its denial may lead to withdrawal.

K2 delivers the cannabinoid-like effect commonly associated with smoking marijuana, but with a sense of false security. Many users think that K2 is not detectable on drug tests. Labs, including ARCpoint Labs, are now able to test for 50 different types of K2/spice; with the list growing every day. As new K2/spice formulas are being created, certified labs are working diligently to keep up with the compounds.

In the 1980s and 90s, researchers identified cannabinoid receptors, long, ropy proteins that weave themselves into the surfaces of cells and process THC. They also process other chemicals, many of them naturally occurring in human bodies. Scattered throughout the body, cannabinoid receptors come in two varieties, called CB1 and CB2 - most CB1 receptors are in the brain, and are responsible for that "high" feeling when smoking pot. CB2 receptors, often associated with the immune system, are found all over the body. THC interacts with both, which is why the drug gives users the giggles and also (when interacting with the immune system) reduces swelling and pain. This system is involved in some of the processes that are controlled in the brain that relate to pain, mood, appetite and memory. The cannabinoids either endogenous or synthetic bind to the specific nerve receptors CB1 and CB2. The synthetic cannabinoid JW 018, that is added to K2, binds tightly to the receptor and as a result researchers say that the chemical is up to 5 times more potent than marijuana.

K2 products are usually smoked in joints or pipes, but some users make it into a tea. Short term effects include loss of control, lack of pain response, increased agitation, pale skin, seizures, vomiting, profuse sweating, uncontrolled or spastic body movements, elevated blood pressure, heart rate and palpitations. The onset of this drug is 3-5 minutes, and the duration of the high is 1-8 hours. In addition to physical signs of use, users may experience: dysphoria, severe paranoia, delusions, hallucinations and increased agitation. Long term effects of K2 are unknown.

It has being reported that some users have suffered atypical reactions that require hospitalization after K2 use. Typical symptoms of those calling poison control centers or presenting themselves to ER include; an increased heart rate, paranoia, psychotic behavior and even loss of consciousness. Another study also concluded that K2 users suffer withdrawal symptoms associated with drug use (Zimmerman et al). These two observations have been widely disputed especially by K2 users who claim no adverse effects related to the use of the herbal concoction. However, this could be dependent on the concentration and purity of the synthetic cannabinoids found in the different batches of K2.

There is very little known about K2; the added chemicals and exact result of its combustion are not understood. Toxicologists are warning users to be aware of the risks associated with consuming a substance that has very little scientific safety data. Some of the cases of negative health effects that are being observed in emergency rooms are not related to the effects associated with marijuana use. The effects are actually the opposite. There is a huge unknown since the exact composition of these herbal mixtures is unavailable. It is not known whether the producers of these herbal concoctions are adding to the mixtures.

Dealers or manufacturers could be cutting the JW018 and mixing in another chemical. These unknown chemicals then could be causing the recorded negative health effects. Unknown reaction between the different herbs in the mixture, the JW018 and other unknown chemicals may be creating new compounds with unexpected effects. Concentrations of the added chemicals are unknown and could exceed safe doses.

On March 1, 2011, DEA published a final order in the Federal Register temporarily placing five synthetic cannabinoids into Schedule I of the CSA. As a result of this order, the full effect of the CSA and its implementing regulations including criminal, civil and administrative penalties, sanctions, and regulatory controls of Schedule I substances will be imposed on the manufacture, distribution, possession, importation and exportation of these synthetic cannabinoids. (Source: Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), National Institute on Drug Abuse, American Association of Poison Control Centers)


John W. Huffman et. al, “3-Indolyl-1-naphthylmethanes: New Cannabimimetic Indoles Provide Evidence for Aromatic Stacking Interactions with the CB1 Cannabinoid Receptor” Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry 11 (2003) 539–549

Auwärter V, Dresen S, Weinmann W, Müller M, Pütz M, Ferreiros N. ‚ “Spice‘ and other herbal blends: Harmless incense or cannabinoid designer drugs?” J Mass Spectrom. 2009; 44(5):832–837.

Fernando Rodríguez de Fonseca, “The endocannabinoid system: Physiology and Pharmacology.” Alcohol and Alcoholism 2005 40(1):2-14

Zimmermann US, Winkelmann PR, Pilhatsch M, Nees JA, Spanagel R, Schulz K. “Withdrawal phenomena and dependence syndrome after the consumption of "spice gold"“ Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2009 Jul;106(27):464-7

Read more at Suite101: The Negative Side of K2 | Suite101

Read more at Suite101: The Negative Side of K2 | Suite101
About the Company:

ARCpoint Labs is the leader in nationwide Drug, Alcohol, DNA and Background Screening and is among the fastest growing Third Party Providers in the drug screening industry. They provide the most competitive list of screening services that is innovative in technology, keeping up with the latest trends and improvements in the industry.

Their leading-edge company is committed to innovation and was among the first to offer advanced, instant, and affordable testing solutions including Drug testing, Alcohol testing, DNA paternity testing, Steroid and Background Screening. For more information, please visit their website at

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